The Business Analysts Role In Bringing Data Warehousing To Your Office
Today’s business executives spend a ton of cash on data warehouse projects because that is a big, key, strategic business initiative; the success of which weighs heavily on their minds.
Data warehousing is important because it saves or aggregates information in a manner that allows executives, management or office users to make strategic business decisions faster, better and more easily!
No More Silos In The Workplace
Data warehousing is critical to business success because it presents a way for executives or management to view or manage their corporation as a whole unit instead of in silos.
What data warehousing offers decision makers is the ability to break out of departmental information silos and see the big picture.
One of the key objectives facilitated by business analysts in data warehousing roles is that of bridging the gap between enterprise databases (marketing, finance, inventory, customer relationship management, etc.) so that decision makers or office users can ask questions or get a comprehensive, 360 degree insight across corporate / departmental databases with one query or question!
Introducing OLAP, Business Intelligence (BI) Or Data Warehousing To Business Analysts
Business Analysts assigned to data warehouse projects may be surprised to know that traditional, day-to-day relational (online transaction processing (OLTP)) databases are not optimized for querying or reporting of data for business or decision making purposes.
Databases that are actually optimized for data analysis, reporting and business intelligence are known as Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) databases.
So, another key benefit of data warehousing is that it provides decision makers with real-time business intelligence at optimal speeds through the used of OLTP systems.
Finally, Data Warehousing is important from the standpoint of facilitating forecasting trends or getting performance metrics for the entire organization.
Data warehousing provides senior management with intelligence required to see the company’s performance from a 30,000 foot level instead of being buried under a mountain of data at sea level.
Will The Real Enterprise Business Analyst Stand Up Please?
Organizations implementing business intelligence or data-warehousing projects are looking for a significant boost in their business intelligence or decision making capabilities.
Savvy business analysts pulled into data-warehousing / BI projects would fare well to keep this at the back of their mind from the git-go!
So, here are some key roles for business analysts in data warehouse projects
The Data Warehouse Business Analysts role includes helping the business team identify key opportunities for boosting revenue, increasing sales, decreasing operational costs or achieving some other important organizatioinal or business objective.
The Business Analyst bridges the gap between the business or executive management office and the data warehousing / BI Implementation Team.
The Business Analyst identifies the business intelligence needs of the organization. This includes eliciting BI requirements from executives, managers or office users and then working with the data warehouse project team to identify, define or implement these business requirements.
The Enterprise Business Analyst Role In Data Warehousing Projects
Data warehousing projects are all about building, integrating, analyzing or reporting on large, complex, corporate databases.
So, Business Analysts working in such domains will be well-advised to fortify their database skills as that is the real-world domain or context of data warehousing.
Because of the strategic importance or the scope of data warehousing / business intelligence (BI) projects, the business analyst typically functions as a key member of a larger data warehouse project team.
The data warehouse project team may include the Project Manager, Data Modeler, Data Architect, Data Analyst , Tester, Report Writer, Database Developer and last but not least … the data warehousing / business intelligence (BI) business analyst.
With that in mind, here are the business analyst’s roles in the context of an enterprise data-warehousing project implementation team.
Management Role: working with executives, management or the business team, the business analyst identifies the gaps in corporate intelligence / reporting capabilities.
Data Analyst Role: working with data analysts, the business analyst identifies, understands and documents the sources of data discrepancies or gaps in business intelligence.
The actual work of identifying data sources may be assigned to the data analysts or Extraction, Transform Load (ETL) developers while that of documenting or modeling the data transformations assigned to a business analyst comfortable with creating data models.
Data Modeler / Data Architect / Database Developer Role: The business analyst works with the data modeler, data architect or database developer to create the logical or conceptual data model.
The business analyst also validates that the data model meets business requirements before it is implemented.
The Data Warehouse Business Analyst Skill Sets
The enterprise data warehouse business analyst is not your traditional business analyst. so, here are some of the skill-set requirements for business analysts in a data warehouse project.
The business analyst needs a thorough understanding of Extraction, Transform and Load (ETL) processes.
The business analyst also needs a strong understanding of the logical database design process, data modeling, data-mart design and a good understanding of OLAP compared to OLTP systems.
The business analyst needs to be comfortable with the business intelligence tools used in delivering corporate intelligence to decision makers which may be as simple as a Microsoft Excel-based Business Intelligence (tool).
The business analyst also needs a good understanding of data warehousing terminology as well as the corporate data being analyzed by the business.
In other words, familiarity with the data is important whether one’s eliciting requirements from the business team or validating data models and ETL processes with the Data Warehouse implementation team.
Bringing Business Intelligence (BI) To The Office
An increasing number of organizations are either planning or implementing BI projects with the objective of improving the quality of corporate intelligence available to decision makers.
As a business analyst, it’s your duty to assist your organization with their BI / Data Warehouse endeavors.
You can achieve this by learning as much as you can about databases, data warehousing, business intelligence, data analysis and decision making processes.
The data warehouse business analyst job description includes a cross-functional suite of skills in Relational Database Development, SQL Query Writing, Data Analysis and Business Analysis.
You can get more information on this from both the Data Analyst Boot Camp and the Business Analyst Boot Camp.